Thursday, January 26, 2023

Academy Award nominee Nighy puts some memorable life into 'Living'

What's not to like about "Living," a remake of Akira Kurosawa's classic "Ikuru" and featuring a just-this-week, Best Actor-nominated performance by the incomparable Bill Nighy?

The latter heads a mostly unrecognizable cast in a distinctly British production, written by 2017 Nobel Prize Winner and, now, Nighy's fellow Oscar nominee, Kazuo Ishiguro (for Best Adapted Screenplay), and directed by Oliver Hermanus (of some "Moffie" fame).

Nighy plays the early-on enigmatic "Mr. Williams," a fellow who heads a small group of impersonal bureaucrats in a big city government division that passes the buck with the best of them. He and his co-workers take the same train downtown each morning, but "Mr. Williams never rides with us," one of them tells London County Hall's newest hire, the friendly bloke (Alex Sharpe) whose inquisitive eyes give us the first glimpses and impressions into how the boss goes about his rather boring business.

Then, Mr. Williams has to leave work early one afternoon. Soon after, he starts missing full days as he deals with the life-changing news the widower finds difficult sharing with the less-than-engaging son and daughter-in-law who reside with him. 

The people he surprisingly does reveal his secret to and how he deals with, uh . . . well, living -- and moving forward -- help create the polished gist of a small, thoughtful gem deserving of a wide audience to embrace it.

Rated "PG-13" by MPAA: some suggestive material and smoking; 1:42; $ $ $ $ out of $5 

Also opening in theaters: "Fear," "Infinity Pool," "Left Behind: Rise of the Antichrist," and "Shotgun Wedding" (only on Prime Video).

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